Thomas’ parents Owen Doody and Caroline Amelia Wilson married on 3 August 1845 in St Nicholas Church in Deptford, Greenwich. Four months later, on 14 December, Thomas’ older brother, Owen William was born. He was baptised on 11 January 1846 in St Alphage Church, Greenwich. It seems that Owen was the only child to be baptised. Thomas himself was born in the 1849 December quarter in the Greenwich registration district.
The 1851 Census recorded the Doody family as living at 42 Hamilton Street, Deptford, and that Thomas’ father worked as a carpenter and joiner to support his family. The following year Thomas’ sister Elizabeth Sarah was born, followed in 1860 by the birth of his brother John Joseph.
By 1861 the family was living at 11 Norwich Court in Holborn; the enumerator noted that Norwich Court was also known as Castle Yard. Eleven-year-old Thomas was working as a ‘Printers Machine Boy’ while his brother Owen was an errand boy.
Sadly, in 1869, Thomas’ brother Owen died. When the 1871 Census was taken, the remaining family was living at 15 Craven Buildings in St Cements Dane, Westminster. Thomas’ father was still working as a carpenter, while Thomas, now aged 22, was a printer. Thomas’ sister Elizabeth married John Samuel Jacobi on 15 October 1871.
Only Thomas’ parents and brother John were living at 10 Craven Buildings when the next Census in 1881 was taken. Thomas’ whereabouts at this time is, at present, unknown. His father died in 1889.
The next Census taken in 1891 recorded that Thomas was now married to Catherine and that they had two daughters – Catherine born in 1882 and Ellen in 1889. No UK GRO marriage record has been found for them, or any UK GRO birth records for their daughters. The family was living at 18 Thomas Street, Rotherhithe, at this time and once again Thomas was recorded as working as a printer. Thomas’ daughter Ellen was aged four when she died in 1893. His mother Caroline was aged 77 when she died in 1899.
The 1901 Census was taken on 31 March, and it recorded Thomas and Catherine as living at 5 Dukes Street, Lambeth. Thomas was now recorded as working as a printer’s pressman. The whereabouts of their daughter Catherine is unknown, but she married William Frazer in 1907.
The 1901 Census does not record any health concerns but, on 25 July 1901, Thomas was discharged to Bethnal Green Asylum from the Lambeth Workhouse Infirmary. The Discharge Register records that his wife was Catherine and their address as ‘5 Dukes Street, Stamford Street’. On 3 May 1902 Thomas was admitted to the Horton Asylum in Epsom where he died a few weeks later on 15 June. Thomas was buried in grave 21 in the Horton Estate Cemetery on 20 June 1902.
It is unknown what happened to his widow, but his daughter Catherine had eight known children with her husband William Fraser and died in 1960.